IHH plans up to $1.3 billion bid for Fortis after TPG-Manipal revises offer | business news | Hindustan Times
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IHH plans up to $1.3 billion bid for Fortis after TPG-Manipal revises offer

IHH’s interest came only a day after TPG-backed Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt sweetened its bid to hive off Fortis’s hospital operations and merge them with its own business.

business Updated: Apr 12, 2018 13:16 IST
Ari Altstedter and Elffie Chew, Bloomberg
Fortis IHH deal,Fortis Healthcare,Fortis Manipal deal
IHH Healtcare sent a letter to the Fortis board Wednesday, saying it may be willing to pay as much as Rs 160 rupees per share to acquire control of the company.(Ramesh Pathania/Mint)

IHH Healthcare Bhd. has proposed a potential bid of as much as $1.3 billion for Fortis Healthcare Ltd. that tops an offer from the TPG-Manipal consortium, according to people with knowledge of the matter, opening a possible takeover battle for India’s second-largest hospital chain.

Asia’s largest hospital operator sent a letter to the Fortis board Wednesday saying it may be willing to pay as much as Rs 160 rupees per share to acquire control of the company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. It has asked the Fortis board for some time to update its due diligence before making a formal bid, the people said.

The Kuala Lumpur-based company told the Fortis board it wants to work with them on a friendly offer, according to one of the people.

IHH’s interest came only a day after TPG-backed Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt sweetened its bid to hive off Fortis’s hospital operations and merge them with its own business. Manipal said its revised plan offered Fortis shareholders Rs 155 per share in value, up from Rs 140 earlier.

The potentially competing bids are the latest twist in the Fortis saga. No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty IHH will proceed with a bid, the people said. A representative for IHH declined to comment, while a spokesman for Fortis said he couldn’t immediately comment.

Manipal’s controlling shareholder Ranjan Pai said in an interview Wednesday the reason he was not buying Fortis outright was because of the potential liabilities posed by investigations. IHH is planning a cash offer for Fortis shares, people with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday. If the approach is rejected by the Fortis board, IHH will consider taking its offer directly to the Indian company’s shareholders, according to the people.

IHH had engaged in talks early last year to invest in Fortis, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

--With assistance from George Smith Alexander and Choong En Han

First Published: Apr 12, 2018 13:14 IST